PT-OPENSREEN: National Infrastructure for Chemical Biology and Genetics
PT-OPENSCREEN is a nationwide network of chemistry and biology research institutes providing compound biological extracts libraries, cellular and biochemical assays for screening, compound optimization and follow-up activity studies. It aims to 1) bridge traditional research areas such as organic and medicinal chemistry, and cell, molecular and structural biology; 2) to operate a state-of-the-art infrastructure for basic and applied research in the fields of chemical biology and genetics and to provide Open Access to users; 3) to build a library of Portuguese chemical compounds; and 4) to coordinate the participation of Portugal in the Pan-European ESFRI infrastructure EU-OPENSCREEN. The main mission of PT-OPENSCREEN is to identify new molecular probes/tools for the discovery of new chemical and biological entities with potential therapeutic application. Until now, there is no public or private institution with such conditions (i.e. infrastructure/technology and know-how) for early stages drug discovery in Portugal. The technology to be used in the project, based on instruments for sample miniaturization and automation, will allow the fast and systematic screening of tens of thousands of samples in the most diverse assays, with reduced costs per sample. The project will contribute to the competitiveness of the partner Institutions, as well as their users, while the entire society will benefit in the long term from the project outcomes. Due to the complementary expertise of the partners in different fields/processes, there is a high translational and application potential of research outcomes of PT-OPENSCREEN for pharmaceutical, biotechnology and agrochemical industries. In each sector, it could serve a large spectrum of companies, from SMEs and mid-size biotech to large pharmaceutical and agricultural companies.